Hungary’s second-largest lender MBH Bank signed an agreement to purchase a 76.35% stake in home savings bank Fundamenta-Lakáskassza from its foreign owners.
The bank signed the agreement with Germany's Bausparkasse Schwabisch Hall AG and Wustenrot and Wurttembergische AG, and Bausparkasse Wustenrot AG of Austria. The transaction could close in the first half of 2024.
Fundamenta will operate as a consolidated subsidiary of the bank but as an independent entity with its own brand and management.
Clients will gain access to MBH Bank's investment, insurance, and credit products following the acquisition, while the acquisition will expand MBH’s client base with 480,000 customers, its loan portfolio by HUF530bn (€1.4bn) and a deposit portfolio of HUF570bn and its market share in retail savings and housing loans will significantly increase.
The government intervened in the home savings market five years ago overnight as parliament voted to phase out state subsidies on home saving funds in an expedited procedure. The state paid depositors an annual HUF72,000 grant on a contribution of HUF240,000, equalling a 30% return. The market was dominated by foreign players, Fundamenta and Erste.
Even as the market collapsed and new membership dwindled, sector peers, OTP and Erste continued their operations and made up for the decline in state subsidies with their own bonuses.
MBH Bank completed the three-way tie-up between three mid-sized banks, MKB Bank, Takarekbank and Budapest Bank at the end of April to become the country’s second-largest lender with HUF10.5 trillion in assets, 500 branches, 2mn clients and 10,000 employers. Deposits exceed HUF6.4 trillion and its loan portfolio is close to HUF5 trillion.
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